McCaffery the latest to try and return Northern Colorado to NCC-era glory

Bears transitioned to Division One FCS at the same time as SDSU yet have failed to succeed
Former Denver Bronco the latest to try and bring Bears back to glory of North Central Conference era
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Not long ago Northern Colorado was a national championship contender in Division Two during their North Central Conference days and made the transition to Division One FCS around the same time as their then-league rivals at South Dakota State and North Dakota State.

It seems like it’s been much longer considering how the paths of the programs have diverged since.

Former Denver Bronco Ed McCaffery is the latest person charged with trying to rebuild the once powerful Bears program. Now in his third year at Northern Colorado, McCaffery was in Sioux Falls on Friday for the Hy Vee/Sanford Legends for Kids Football Camp.

A former national champion in the mid-1990s when McCaffery was starring for the Broncos down the road, Northern Colorado seemed a natural fit for the move up to the FCS. Yet while SDSU and NDSU, programs, along with later USD and UND, have all enjoyed success at the FCS level, Northern Colorado has gone in the opposite direction. They’ve yet to make the playoffs and had just two winning seasons since going Division One in 2004.

A successful high school coach in Colorado, McCaffery took over with the promise of increased commitment to upgrading the program’s facilities and budget, something he’s still seeing despite going 3-8 last year in his first season.

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